A new evening service for minor injuries at crisis-struck Grantham hospital is set to open later today.
The new short-term minor illness and injuries service will operate from the out of hours service, opening until 11.30pm.
The service aims to address some of the problems created by the decision to close Grantham A&E overnight, seven days a week.
It will be based in the Kingfisher Suite at the hospital.
Despite this, it is not a replacement for the A&E department.
Andrew Morgan, chief executive of Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust, said: “We have been working closely with the local clinical commissioning group (CCG), Lincolnshire County Council and United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (ULHT) to explore what we could do further to provide services for patients in Grantham during the evenings.
“LCHS already provides a wide range of urgent care services in Lincolnshire, including the existing countywide out of hours service.
“This enhanced service will be able to treat patients for minor injuries without an appointment but does not replace the A&E department at Grantham hospital.”
“If anyone is unsure about which service they should access and it is not a 999 emergency, but someone needs medical help fast, they should call 111.”
As previously reported, the hospital’s A&E department is closed from 6.30pm until 9am due to a shortage of doctors across Lincolnshire.
Hospital bosses have said that the temporary closure would last for at least three months.
However, ULHT chief executive Jan Sobieraj told Lincolnshire Reporter that the changes to opening hours at Grantham A&E may not be temporary.
Around 3,000 people protested against the A&E closure in the town on Saturday, September 3, with the campaigners urging ULHT to reconsider their decision.
Human rights solicitor Rosa Curling has also claimed that the decision to close Grantham A&E was unlawful, something the trust has denied.